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Focused on the positive: Salmon Arm entrepreneur pursuing path to enlightenment

Practising Buddhist Mike Boudreau helps others find happiness through meditation
A practising Buddhist, Mike Boudreau enjoys teaching and sharing his experience of meditation with others. (Barb Brouwer photo)

By Barb Brouwer


A warm breeze blows gently through a window of the Salmon Arm Meditation Centre.

There is peace and welcome in this place.

Several rows of chairs face a shrine, which is home to a large statue of Buddha. In front of the shrine is a photo of Geshe La Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, a master practitioner.

Mike Boudreau, who teaches at the centre and leads weekly meditation sessions, became a practising Buddhist in 2010. The economy had stalled and Boudreau, who owns Technology Brewing, had to downsize his business and, in his words, felt sad for himself.

Nancy Whitticase, a local yoga instructor at the time, sent Boudreau’s wife an email letting her know Kelsang Sanden, a teacher from Fraser Valley, was going to lead meditation sessions in Salmon Arm.

Skeptical, Boudreau said he procrastinated for several weeks then attended his first session cautiously, looking for some form of manipulation.

Instead, he was introduced to what he says is a scientific method of finding happiness, which is in developing a happy mind.

“Holy cow, this guy figured it out 2,500 years ago,” he said of Siddhartha Gautama, a wealthy prince who lived in northern India. Moved by suffering in the world, Gautama left the family compound against his father’s wishes.

Determined to find the answer to happiness, Gautama meditated beneath a Bodhi tree for 49 days before attaining enlightenment. He then set about sharing his path to enlightenment with the world.

Boudreau has learned that most people’s reality is mistakenly based on attachment, when the source is actually one’s own heart.

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He believes in “the universal law of karma and reincarnation,” and said every action a person does creates the cause for them to experience that action in the future.

“There are two universal wishes; to be happy and not suffer,” he said. “If we truly don’t wish to suffer in the future, we can purge negative karma and reduce negative mental habits.”

Finding happiness requires patience, something he described as the mind that joyfully accepts whatever is appearing in one’s life and something that can never exist with the presence of anger.

“We need to identify habits that make us want to do positive things and try to let go of the negative,” he said, noting Buddhism is a non-judgmental practice and practitioners do not tell others how or what to do.

Boudreau follows the Mahayanist tradition of Buddhism, which seeks to benefit others.

“To do that, we have to be on a path to attain enlightenment,” he said. “This is about training your mind to be peaceful, which leads to happiness, which, in turn, helps others to be happy.”

Meditation classes will begin again in the second week of September. To find out more, go online to To register, open the weekly classes tab.
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About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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